Quick reaction support from Tobyhanna equips frontline fighters
Electronics Worker Clyde Walts builds a cable for the IBCS program at Tobyhanna Army Depot. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Thomas Robbins) VIEW ORIGINAL

TOBYHANNA ARMY DEPOT, Pa. — Soldiers in the field have access to the latest Army technology, all thanks to Tobyhanna Army Depot.

The organization is now the depot source of repair for the Integrated Air and Missile Battle Command System, or IBCS, a vital “supersystem” that consolidates several air and missile defense command and control functions into a single network. Its open infrastructure allows the integration of various functionalities, enabling Soldiers to consolidate and sort through information more quickly for sound decision-making. The launch of the IBCS represents a transformational strategy for the Army as it moves towards arming Soldiers for the multi-domain battlefield.

While the system won’t fully transition to Tobyhanna until 2026, depot personnel are currently providing forward support to units with IBCSs – and recently provided emergency fabrication support to ensure field readiness for Soldiers.

Earlier this year, several IBCSs were discovered to be inoperable at Forts Bliss and Cavazos because they lacked simple operational cables. The cables, used to power up environmental control units part of IBCS Engagement Operations Centers, were unavailable on the open market – leaving soldiers and the Integrated Fires Mission Command with few options.

Upon hearing about the need for cabling, a specialty of the talented artisans at Tobyhanna, depot personnel jumped at the opportunity to assist. The Systems Integration and Support Directorate’s Preproduction & Development Branch worked closely with design engineers and logisticians to quickly create a prototype of the cable. Once the cable had passed through the necessary approval channels, the cables were produced in just five working days. From the first phone call to project completion, only 60 days passed — a cooperative feat Preproduction & Development Branch Chief Jesse Tutino and his team take great pride in.

"We have a cohesive team here at Tobyhanna that allows us to overcome challenges to meet our customers' requirements. For this project, we developed a strong team with the technical skills to provide one-off, quick turnaround, fabrication services with exceptional quality."

Two members of the quick reaction team were recognized for their efforts by Caleb Nabors, product manager, Integrated Fires Mission Command Hardware during a visit to the depot earlier this fall. Nabors presented Clyde Walts of the Systems Integration and Support Directorate and Matthew Check of the Production Engineering Directorate with ceremonial coins, honoring their outstanding support of the IBCS program.

In addition to the emergency cable support, Tobyhanna has entered into a public-private partnership with Northrop Grumman to fabricate additional assemblies for the IBCS system.

Joseph Lynn, a logistics management specialist in Tobyhanna’s Strategic Initiatives Office, says the unplanned project will undoubtedly lead to more workload for the depot.

“Because we had the opportunity to showcase our responsiveness and capabilities before the mission ‘officially’ started, our partners are already looking to expand our involvement in the effort.”

More than 440 IBCS assets will be supported through the lifetime of the sustainment program.

Support for the IBCS is a critical part of warfighter readiness, and the mission directly aligns with Tobyhanna’s long-range strategic plan, TOBY2035, which has four focus areas: Investing in Our People, C5ISR Readiness, Shape the Future and Strategic Communications. TOBY2035 aims to posture the depot for success in the coming years as the Department of Defense's premier worldwide C5ISR readiness provider.

Tobyhanna Army Depot is a recognized leader in providing world-class logistics support for command, control, communications, computers, cyber, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems across the Department of Defense. Tobyhanna’s corporate philosophy, dedicated work force and electronics expertise ensure the depot is the joint C5ISR provider of choice for all branches of the armed forces and industry partners.

Tobyhanna’s unparalleled capabilities include full-spectrum logistics support for sustainment, overhaul and repair, fabrication and manufacturing, engineering design and development, systems integration, post-production software support, technology insertion, modification, foreign military sales and global field support to our joint warfighters.

About 3,100 personnel are employed at Tobyhanna, which is located in the Pocono Mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania. Tobyhanna Army Depot is part of the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command. Headquartered at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, the command’s mission is to empower the Soldier with winning C5ISR capabilities.